Saab In Trouble Over Unpaid Bills

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
saab in trouble over unpaid bills

While other manufacturers have problems getting parts, Saab has problems getting parts. But for different reasons.

“Production at Saab stopped for a second day on Wednesday as the money-losing automaker faces payment problems with its suppliers,” reports Automotive News [sub]. They add that Saab said it will start production again on Thursday, after money problems have been settled. According to the Automotive News report, Saab made a very inadvisable move: They did not pay their shipping company.

Saab spokesman Eric Geers told AN that Saab “had fruitful talks with transport firm Schenker, which would start deliveries to Saab again and allow production to resume.” Schenker is one of the world’s largest shipping companies and 100 percent owned by the German Railroad. In the business, you always pay your freight company, simply because they can make your life miserable by holding your freight at ransom. And that’s just for starters.

AN says that Schenker isn’t the only one that is waiting to get paid. “The information that we got at the end of last week was that suppliers have not been paid by Saab,” Svenake Berglie, chief of Sweden’s FKG association of car industry suppliers told a public radio station. He also conveyed that suppliers with which he had spoken were very angry. Unwise move If you want to build cars, you need parts.

According to Automotive News, Spyker is hoping for new money from a familiar source: Vladimir Antonov. Says Automotive News:

“Antonov has been a long-time business partner of Spyker CEO Victor Muller and used to have a near 30 percent stake in Spyker. Spyker has already sold its sports car division to Antonov and the Russian said last week he would like to return to a 30 percent shareholding in Spyker-Saab. “

“He has said he was forced out of the original deal for Spyker to buy Saab from General Motors Co. after being suspected of being connected with organized crime.”

“He has said investigations have cleared him and that GM is ready to let him back as a shareholder.”

Schenker and the Swedish parts makers will be delighted to hear that.

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2 of 18 comments
  • Doctor olds Doctor olds on Mar 31, 2011

    I wish Saab well, but the car business is very, very tough. This is not a good sign.

  • JJ JJ on Mar 31, 2011

    Spyker's stock price dropped 6,1% on the AEX index (Dutch stock market) when this news broke yesterday morning, but is up about 3% again today after news that Spyker will attract new loans to cover their 400MM loan from the European Investment Bank. The latter has to enjoy the continued support of the Swedish government and there was some talk that the Swedish government called for a meeting with Spyker to potentially re-evaluate their support, leading to concerns over Spyker's liquidity. The factory is up and running again, so crisis averted...for now.

  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.
  • Sgeffe There's someone around where I live who has a recent WRX-STi, but the few times I've been behind this guy, he's always driving right at the underposted arbitrary numbers that some politician pulled out of their backside and slapped on a sign! With no gendarmes or schoolkids present! Haven't been behind this driver on the freeway, but my guess is that he does the left lane police thing with the best of 'em!What's the point of buying such a vehicle if you're never going to exceed a speed limit? (And I've pondered that whilst in line in the left lane at 63mph behind a couple of Accord V6s, as well as an AMG E-Klasse!)
  • Mebgardner I'm not the market for a malleable Tuner / Track model, so I dont know: If you are considering a purchase of one of these, do you consider the Insurance Cost Of Ownership aspect? Or just screw it, I'm gonna buy it no matter.The WRX is at the top of the Insurance Cost pole for tuner models, is why I ask.